Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Growing up in Sunnyside, I was one of many students who walked the halls of Sunnyside High School for four years and gained a lot from a largely under-appreciated staff and administration.
On March 10, an opportunity to ensure future successes in our school district will be placed before the voters and I ask that fellow residents join me in voting "yes."
I've always found those "I'm voting for kids" bumper stickers to be a bit disingenuous. We all support education but realize that not every political wish list can be fulfilled. In this case, catchy slogans or "false choices" aren't necessary to sell the bond. This thing is about as straight forward as it gets. Vote "yes" for better schools without a tax hike.
I'm a proud fiscal conservative and if this bond represented a tax hike in any way, I'd likely vote against it during these tough economic times. As I hope you've heard by now, the bond rate will not change, which is already one of the lowest in the county.
While proponents primarily focus on the unchanging bond rate, voters should also realize that the results from voting "yes" or "no" are not fiscally neutral. Local contractors are likely to see work from the expansion and an estimated $529,000 would be generated for the city...a benefit that obviously doesn't exist with a winning "no" vote.
When the current freshmen become seniors at SHS, the student population at the high school will be nearing 2,000 for a building with a current capacity of about 1,100. We needed these renovations when I attended, and the situation will only become worse with each passing year.
While providing for much needed expansion to the building, the bond will also help pay for infrastructure modernization, including fixing the heating and air conditioning, which I imagine everyone who has taken a gym class when the system was broken can fully appreciate.
Our students should be provided with every educational tool that is affordable and acceptable to the taxpayer. Regardless of how you may have voted on any previous bond (and I've leaned towards the "no" camp before), let's make sure we make the right choice on March 10 and pass this measure.
/s/ Jonas Linde, Sunnyside